NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (Oct. 12, 2012) – Behind efficient offensive play, the Rutgers volleyball team downed BIG EAST foe Syracuse, 3-1, at the College Ave. Gym, Friday. The Scarlet Knights (16-6, 2-5) downed the Orange (9-12, 1-5) by set scores of 25-13, 25-22, 25-27 and 25-18. It marked the second conference win of the season for Rutgers and the team compiled a .288 hitting percentage, its best BIG EAST mark of the 2012 campaign.
"It's a big momentum and confidence boost for our team to get our second BIG EAST win of the season, especially this early in the season where it hasn't come in the past," said head coach CJ Werneke. "Obviously, we want to carry that momentum over to our match Sunday with Marquette."
The Scarlet Knights totaled 61 kills, 54 assists, 68 digs and 3.0 team blocks. The Orange hit .217 and notched 46 kills, 43 assists, 45 digs and 8.0 blocks. This was Rutgers’ first win over Syracuse since Oct. 10, 2003. The squad is now 5-2 at home this season.
Senior setter Stephanie Zielinski (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) recorded a match-best 49 assists and moved into third place on Rutgers all-time list with 3,865 for her career. It was the 15th time this season that she tallied 40 or more assists in a match. Junior Tracy Wright (Fair Lawn, N.J.) jumped into the school’s single-season digs list, giving her 355 to put her in seventh all-time. She is just 13 digs away from sharing the fifth spot.
Senior Kylie Orr (Kettering, Ohio) led all players with 17 kills. Freshman Megan Stephenson (Burbank, Calif.) had a career-high 16 kills.
Rutgers started strong in the opening set by scoring the first four points. The Scarlet Knights went on a 5-0 run late to make the score 22-9, which proved too much for the Orange to overcome. Rutgers had its most efficient single game of the season in the first set, recording a hitting percentage of .500. The final score of 25-13 was tied for the Scarlet Knights’ second largest set victory of the season and its best in BIG EAST play.
The Scarlet Knights trailed 19-16 late in the second game before going on a 6-0 run highlighted by three kills from Orr and closed it out. Down 20-15 in the third stanza, Rutgers rallied to tie it up at 24. The set went back-and-forth before Syracuse earned the victory. The Scarlet Knights got out to an early lead in the final set and didn’t look back to take the match.
On Sunday, Rutgers hosts a “Dig Pink” match against Marquette at 2 p.m. to raise awareness and help in the fight against breast cancer. Fans will have the opportunity to donate at the match or can give online by clicking here.
Follow Rutgers Athletics on Facebook (www.facebook.com/RutgersAthletics) and Twitter (@RUAthletics) for all of the latest news and updates. For specific updates regarding women’s volleyball, follow the program on Twitter @RUvball.